Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two wrongs make a right?

Something that's always interested me is how people learn and remember things. Some are "visual learners," some think very rationally or logically, and some may even have "photographic memory." This article "Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn" explores the search for the most effective way to learn. Ironically, it suggests that being subject to more difficult learning conditions and "getting things wrong"-essentially failing in the beginning- is more effective in helping students truly understand and remember concepts in the long-term.
While I can agree from experience that I always tend to remember things that I've gotten wrong before, the study raises the question: Why do more challenging conditions improve recall? Why can't remembering things we learned easily and without failing first be just as easy? Could it be attributed to a tendency to remember negative things more vividly than the positive?

Shwetha A.

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